Predators coach poised to make changes with Vancouver in town

Monday, December 7, 2009 at 9:46pm

Barry Trotz said he could not have benched all of the players who needed it last Saturday.

Monday, his bench got a little deeper, which means he has more options if he wants to make changes for Tuesday’s game against Vancouver (7 p.m., Sommet Center).

Defenseman Alexander Sulzer was recalled from Milwaukee for the third time. He played three games and had three assists for the Admirals in his latest reassignment, which raised his season total to 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 10 AHL appearances.

He has not played an NHL game since Nov. 7 and has been a healthy scratch for 13 of the last 15 contests in which he has been on the roster.

Trotz made it clear, though, following Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild that he was prepared to make some changes.

“We won’t go into names, but we turned the puck over on a pretty regular basis,” he said. “There were too many of them to sit them all out, that’s for sure.”

In losing for the third time in four games — and the second straight at home — the Predators committed 15 turnovers to Minnesota’s six.

Center Jason Arnott and left wing Martin Erat had three each, although both scored a goal as well. Seven others had at least one.

In a 4-1 victory Friday at Chicago, Nashville committed just one turnover — and that was by goalie Dan Ellis. The Blackhawks had 15. Even in a 5-4 overtime loss at Minnesota last Wednesday, the Predators were credited with six giveaways.

“We’ve got to pump it up a bit,” Arnott said. “Right from the drop of the puck we’ve got to get some life and some energy out there. … We’ve just got to (be) ready for Tuesday.

Vancouver is one of two Western Conference teams Nashville has not yet faced this season (Phoenix is the other).

The Canucks have won the last two season series’ overall and have won in their last four visits to the Sommet Center. The last time the Predators won at home against Vancouver was Nov. 23, 2006 — a 6-0 victory.

Now that’s something Trotz definitely wants to change.